What I’m Reading April 2017
Reading and writing are two of the biggest de-stressors in my life. In fact, the whole reason I started this blog was because I was on a hiatus from novel writing after I decided not to pursue publishing my first book (I was nineteen when I wrote it and it was…lacking.) In spite of the fact that I wasn’t writing books for a while, I still had the itch to create and to write. Hence cooking, traveling, and blogging.
Of course, I fell in love with it quickly. So much so that even when I picked novel writing back up recently, I didn’t let go of blogging. The blog allows me to write about things that can’t make it into books, like my daily life, the places I visit, and my recipes.
Alongside this blog, reading also keeps me on my toes. It reminds me of the vast and varied imaginations that exist in this world, and pushes me to keep up with my own imagination.
Here’s what’s been capturing my imagination this month.
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
This book is a lot like the before and after photos on the walls of expensive gyms. Unrealistic, but aspirational all the same. The required ingredients and equipment needed for some of the recipes are out of this world, and absolutely not something the average cook would have on hand. Much like Kim Kardashian’s body, I will never actually achieve it.
But then again, I can’t stop reading it. Unlike the more realistic cookbooks that sit on my countertop, getting thumbed through and tested regularly, this book is read under the covers late at night, like a fictional novel.
But who knows? Maybe I’ve built this food up to be so grand in my head that the real thing wouldn’t compare anyways.
Rating: 10/10 if you like fantasy and food.
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Well, I can’t read about food all the time. A few years back, I stepped out of the YA section of the bookstore because it became saturated with a lot of…well, mediocrity. I found myself reading the same story over and over and over again. It was tiring to pick up a story and always have low expectations and then still have it disappoint.
And then, I stumbled upon the Lunar Chronicles. Each story takes place in the same futuristic world and is based on a different folk or fairy tale. The characters are diverse with interesting motives, the story lines bounce between hilarious and somber, and the plot moves quickly.
Rating: 9/10 if you love cyborgs and fun.
Mastering The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle
Is there any book that better captures the plight of the home cook? For fifty years, Mastering the Art of French Cooking has taught us how to accrue new techniques, philosophies, and creativity surrounding food. Rather than just being a cookbook, MtAoFC is an educational tool. It provides backgrounds and basics of each dish and its variants, allowing you move from base recipes and master sauces to their descendants.
It’s no surprise that I am head over heels in love with this book. It sits on my counter 24/7, usually opened to a roast recipe, and always well-worn. The tips are practical, informative, and easy to remember when you don’t have the book with you. Plus, Julia’s voice shine’s through in all of its upbeat wisdom, teaching you without condescending or confusing.
Rating: 10/10, an absolute essential to anyone’s kitchen.
What are you reading this month? I can always use recommendations for books, whether they are related to food or not. Although cookbooks and food memoirs are always on the list, I also find myself drawn to sci-fi and fantasy. Not a surprise, since I also write sci-fi and fantasy a lot.
I hope that wherever you are, you’ve got a cup of tea on the nightstand and a good book in your hands.
Until next time, keep reading.